What is a social enterprise?
A new type of business that has recently gained in popularity is the Social enterprise. These types of businesses can range from homeless Big issue sellers, the Eden Project, your local Co-op, coffee shops, cinemas, pubs, restaurants, and leisure centres. Similar to traditional businesses, they intend to generate a profit.
There are an estimated 100,000 social enterprises throughout the country contributing around £60 billion to the economy and employing two million people.
This profit is reinvested or donated back into the local community with a view to create employment and training opportunities to improve the prospects of local people. Creating a positive social environment empowers local people to challenge social problems, improve cohesion, and provides support for people as well as communities and the environment.
This underpins the goals as set out by the UN:
“The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.”
These enterprises are not only creating employment and job opportunities for people who are side-lined from the main workforce, they are transforming the communities they work in as well as the world. Contributing to the green growth market and innovating next-generation projects such as energy efficiency products, are all impacting towards the success of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To set up a social enterprise, there are several questions you need to answer, to help you decide whether this is the right set up for your individual business, you will need to:
· Have a mission that will have a social and/or environmental issue at the heart of the business
· Reinvest the lions share of their profits back into the business or local community
· Is a viable profitable business
· Are fully accountable and transparent in their Governance
· Fiscal responsible
Check out our next blog to find out how to set up your own Social enterprise.